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European recognition of FMA oversight of auditors

Page last updated: 30 Aug 2016

Media Release
MR 2016 - 25
30 August 2016

The European Commission has announced its recognition of the New Zealand audit oversight regime as equivalent to EU standards, permitting NZ-regulated auditors to operate in the European Union. 

With this announcement, the Commission has concluded that the New Zealand systems of public oversight, quality assurance, investigation and penalties for auditors and audit firms are equivalent of that of the Member States of the European Union.

Over the past two years a very thorough and technical assessment of the oversight regime for auditors in New Zealand was led by the FMA in conjunction with MBIE.

Garth Stanish, Director of Capital Markets said "This is further testament of the FMA’s commitment to meet the highest international standards. This recognition will allow New Zealand auditors to continue to audit financial statements of entities listed on EU markets. European recognition also confirms the robustness of New Zealand’s regulatory structure, and gives investors’ confidence that New Zealand auditors meet international standards.”

As a result of this decision, the EU audit oversight authorities may conclude co-operative agreements with the FMA with the ultimate purpose of relying on each other’s work on the supervision of auditors and audit firms.

“The ability to share information with international regulators is integral to the efficient oversight of company audits and will enhance audit quality. Audit has become a borderless activity and it is important that regulators are able to operate in a similar manner. We look forward to further cooperation with our counterparts in Europe,” said Mr Stanish.

Recognition by the European Commission follows the FMA’s acceptance into the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) and its role in addressing audit quality review findings on a global level.


Editors notes: The FMA was accepted into IFIAR in December 2014.

The publication of the European Commission announcement on 25 July 2016 can be found on the EU website.

Andrea Birtwistle
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